Future Challenges of IoT Cybersecurity in UK Industry Sectors

A Synthesis Report on PETRAS Industry-specific Workshops


The PETRAS National Centre of Excellence presents Future Challenges of IoT Cybersecurity in UK Industry Sectors, a synthesis report on PETRAS industry specific workshops.

PETRAS conducted a series of industry-specific workshops, covering seven UK industry sectors, involving academia, industry, and government partners to investigate the challenges associated with the implementation and adoption of IoT technology. This report therefore aims to provide strategic advice and policy insights for the public and private sectors to address the potential implications and challenges for the adoption and use of IoT.

The key conclusions from the report include:

  • Adoption of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is becoming increasingly common in a wide range of UK sectors, but several barriers remain before it can be fully accepted as an integral component for any organisation looking to maximise its potential and progress.
  • The UK should seek to lead the development of prescriptive IoT cybersecurity policies and regulations for its industry sectors. In this regard, the government needs to act both domestically and internationally.
  • A national centre, such as PETRAS, should be adequately resourced to act as a nexus for stakeholders in industry, academia, civil society bodies, and the public, as well as regulators to identify issues such as regulatory gaps and co-create solutions to address them.

Executive Summary:

The UK now regards the Internet of Things (IoT) as a highly significant, strategic-level infrastructure for economic growth. As a result, IoT has received considerable attention from UK industry, universities, and governments. The 2014 “IoT Blackett Review” by the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser highlighted both the socio-economic benefits and challenges of IoT to the UK and the global economy. This milestone
report marked the beginning of UK’s active engagement with IoT and was followed by the establishment of IoTUK in 2015.

Based on the Blackett Review and its recommendations for action, the PETRAS IoT Research Hub was established in 2016, and in 2019, the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity was funded by collaboration between the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Innovate UK under the Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF). PETRAS stands for Privacy, Ethics, Trust, Reliability, Acceptability, and Security for IoT systems. Its focus is to ensure that technological advances such as the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence are developed and applied safely and securely in consumer and business contexts. This is done by taking a transdisciplinary view and a socio-technical perspective relating to the cybersecurity of IoT devices, systems, and networks. PETRAS projects and engagements span key industry sectors including Ambient Environments (25%), Supply Chains and Control Systems (19%), Agritech (3%), Health and Wellbeing (13%), Infrastructure (29%) and Transport and Mobility (11%).

PETRAS also employs a variety of lenses in its research including Law and Economics at the Edge (33%), Building Public Value at the Edge (15%), Securing the Edge (30%) and Useful employs a variety of lenses in its research including Law and Economics at the Edge (33%), Building Public Value at the Edge (15%), Securing the Edge (30%) and Useful and Useable Decentralisation (22%). These sectors and lenses help define research challenges in a real-world context and are points of contact for accessing the Centre 2019 programmes and expertise, as well as special interest groups.

If you have any questions relating to this work, please contact the PETRAS Centre Team at